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JU offers new fintech programs as industry booms locally

Jacksonville University.png
Jacksonville University
A view of Jacksonville University's Downtown campus.

Jacksonville University is expanding its college of business and technology to offer fintech career paths to students.

Starting in the fall semester, which begins Aug. 8, JU students pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration can major in fintech, and the university's business administration master's program will offer a fintech concentration.

"Fintech" is a portmanteau of financial technology. It represents a burgeoning industry that uses computer science, information technology and adjacent project management to improve on and deliver financial services.

Jacksonville has been a regional hub for fintech, thanks to the aggressive courting of startups and industry leaders to move headquarters or establish regional offices in the city. There is also a longstanding finance sector in the region, which also attracts fintech companies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown significant growth in Jacksonville's finance sector over the past 10 years, with nearly 75,000 employees in the city alone as of June. When expanding to the entire metro area, which includes most of the First Coast, the JAX Chamber says more than 62,000 people are employed in specifically fintech jobs.

"This is a program that both students and industry partners have been requesting with growing frequency," Barbara Ritter, the college's dean overseeing the program, said in a news release. "This major will provide a distinctive experience for students that prepares them for the workforce of the future and builds expertise to fill a need in our community.

The university is also constructing a fintech lab in its STEAM Center, which is scheduled to be completed this semester.

Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or Rtroncoso@wjct.org and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.